The new Lexus RX and the dedicated electric RZ polarizing spindle are ushering in a new era of grille, which will tone the previously pronounced proboscis.
Kochi Suga, head of Lexus Global Design, who spoke to Automotive News, said American market research had shown that large spindle grills were a “turnoff” for consumers and that the car needed to have the right balance for styling.
“A lot of people have mentioned that it looks like Darth Vader,” Suga said, noting that people have compared the grill to an electric shaver, as well as to the monsters in the Predator film series.
Electrification gives the brand a lot of space in the styling segment, as there is no hot engine under the hood that needs to be cooled, and in essence, there is no need for a large grill – or a grill.
“We want to maintain the shape of the spindle itself. But Taku has always been based on the effectiveness of what is happening under the hood, ”said Suga.
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This is why the new styling aspect for Lexus will include the grille in the design for a complete “spindle body” style. The first vehicles to be guided by this new type of design will be the 2023 RX, the brand’s mid-size SUV and the brand new electric RZ.
The basic principles of the ‘spindle body’ still include the same basic shape as the spindle grille, but the lines are now blurred in the sheet metal. The nose of the new, fifth-generation RX has a more prominent, spindle-shaped upper corner at the tip of the hood, merging with the body. For the all-electric RZ, almost the entire fascia has been filled, with the exception of a small opening just above the splitter, but the shape of the spindle is still very clearly present.
The overall effect is a much more balanced design, where the low grille diverts all attention from the rest of the car. Suga said the philosophy is based on listening to customer feedback.
“The new spindle execution is based on this teaching,” he said. “We need the right balance.”